Where the #!*% Is Midtown in Indianapolis?

This month’s Chow Down Midtown event begs the question: Where, exactly, is the emerging area? Depends on whom you ask.

“We are essentially the community
between the waterways, White River and Fall Creek. Fall Creek is our southern boundary and is part of our eastern boundary and runs to Keystone Avenue. We are sort of the original suburbs of Indianapolis from the 1900s.” —Michael McKillip, executive director of the nonprofit organization Midtown Indianapolis

“In my opinion, its boundaries are 38th Street from Fall Creek Parkway on the east over to Illinois Street on the west. It entails College Avenue and takes a little part of Broad Ripple, too. And includes Meridian-Kessler.”Monroe Gray Jr., City-County Councillor for District 8, which includes Butler-Tarkington

“I loosely classify Midtown as stretching from 22nd Street to 68th Street, which is just inside the boundary of the canal.” Chris Gahl, Visit Indy

“Traditionally, 16th to 38th would be the classic midtown district. The area from 38th Street to White River would have been uptown. With Unigov, the Meridian-Kessler/Broad Ripple/Butler-Tarkington areas that are the core of the Midtown initiative are smack in the middle of the north side of the expanded city.”Aaron Renn, The Urbanophile blogger

“The west border is White River; the east border is Fall Creek. South, I don’t know. I’d say a little north of 16th  Street. And north of Broad Ripple, I’d say, up to about 70th or 75th Street. The area has a lot of trouble with people knowing where it’s at.”Aaron Caito, Meridian-Kessler resident and past volunteer for Midtown Indianapolis

“For me, it’s the triangular swath of land loosely bounded by 38th Street, Keystone Avenue, and White River.”Jonathan Allinson, director of operations and development, People for Urban Progress

“Midtown, to me, is north of the Old Northside and south of, say, 71st Street. It includes Broad Ripple and the IMA, and touches Riverside Park.”Bryan Luellen, IndyGo marketing director

“Whoa. I guess it’s around … wow, I’ve never thought about that. The metro area?”Barry Mohammad, Yellow Cab Co. driver

Does Midtown Make Sense?

“The whole downtown/midtown/uptown thing started in New York because that city is narrow and vertical. We’re a radial city growing out in every direction from the center, so it’s a stretch to say Indy has a midtown. Brownsburg is just as far out as Broad Ripple, and what is that, then? Plus, whoever has decided where Midtown is picked the rivers as boundaries. I don’t think they were being racist, but they left out some rougher neighborhoods that are just as far north as the same swath.”
Matt Hale, co-creator of Naplab’s Indy neighborhoods map

This article appeared in the June 2014 issue.